Champions League

Pep wants Man City fans to embrace Champions League

2018-11-07 13:48
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants the club's supporters to start to get behind the team in the UEFA Champions League, ahead of Wednesday's Group F tie with Shakhtar Donetsk.

City fans have voiced their discontent about the competition by booing the UCL anthem before the start of games.

It appears the supporters have taken a stand against UEFA who they feel have discriminated against City in the past.

In 2011 former striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Porto fans but the side was fined just €20 000.

Not long afterwards in the same year, City were 30 seconds late in coming back out on to the pitch against Sporting Lisbon and were handed a €30 000 sanction.

Financial Fair Play rules also hit the club hard with a £49 million fine imposed on the English giants in 2014.

In addition, the side's fans were said to have then been badly treated by CSKA Moscow fans thereafter. When City's fanbase booed the UCL anthem in 2015, UEFA waved another red flag to a bull by considering a financial penalty.

Speaking ahead of the clash at the Etihad, Guardiola urged fans to look beyond their differences with the European governing body, and support the team: "We have to be pushed by everyone surrounding Manchester City that we have to win it – and we still don't have that feeling from the fans.

"I feel we're a really good team but you still need something special to win the Champions League and still I don't feel it. But every year we'll get closer and, sooner or later, it's going to happen.

"I grew up in Barcelona and when you start to play there they inoculate it into your blood that the only way to survive is to win. The only way to survive is to win and I have to win.

"I know that but I have also learned that, when you don't win, life goes on and you have another chance in the next season."


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